Letter of Mgr. Ambrosio Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio
Piacenza, 15 January 2014
THE BISHOP OF PIACENZA – BOBBIO
Dear Friends of St Columbanus
in the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio
and many other parishes in Europe,
We are approaching a most important date for all those who venerate and love St Columbanus. In 2015 we will mark the 1400th Anniversary of the death of this holy monk who first set out from Bangor, Ireland, and journeyed throughout Europe as a pilgrim for Chirst, a “peregrinus pro Christo”, until he finally arrived in Bobbio where he died on 23rd November 615.
With my responsibility as the Pastor, called to guard not only his mortal remains but his example and his teaching, I invite the faithful of the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio, parishes throughout Italy, in Europe and across the world to celebrate together the Jubilee Year of St Columbanus so that Missionaries of St Columbanus, Kinghts of St Columbanus, Associations, Institutes, College, Schools and others might continue to recall and be inspired by the example of our saintly Abbot’s life.
The solemn opening of the Jubilee Year will take place in Rome between 10th -12th October 2014 during the celebration of the 17th Columban’s Day. We will gather in the Basilical of St John Lateran, Rome, the Mother Church of the the City and of the World, for the International Meeting of Columbanus Communities. His Eminence, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of Rome, will preside over the eucharistic celebration. His Holiness Pope Francis has also been informed of the Meeting and we wait in eager anticipation that we may be able to attend a special Audience with the Holy Father during our stay in the Eternal City As the spiritual heirs of St Columbanus, even though he died in Bobbio at the age of 75, we wish to extend his earthly pilgrimage by making our visit in his name to the site of the tomb of St Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. There we will profess together a faith in Christ that Columbanus spread througout western Europe by his unstinting and tireless work in the construction of the Church of Christ and the rebuilding of civilization.
Next year we will meet again as pilgrims in Bobbio, where on 30th August 2015 we will celebrate the 18th Columban’s Day. At the tomb of the saintly Abbot we will thank the Lord for having given us such an outstanding example of love who, even today, continues to guide the footsteps of many christian communities, inspires men and women who, guided by his example, bear daily witness to their christian faith with courage and love.
Through the intercession of St Columbanus, who “with good reason may be called a saint of Europe” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), may we, in this Jubilee year, experience a time of special grace for our various church communities and for Europe in the hope that our strengthened roots of faith may give us hope for the future.
I take this occasion of sending you my cordial greetings whilst invoking God’s choicest blessings on you.
+ Gianni Ambrosio Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio
Piazza Duomo 33 – 29121 Piacenza tel fax 0523 308317 e-mail: